user's can no longer edit Excel worksheet

Posted on 2014-08-01
Last Modified: 2014-08-07
One file.
two worksheets.

Users were able to edit areas of the worksheet until recently. They can no longer do that. When they try to edit, they are prompted with a password. The sheet was always protected, but the users claim they never had to enter a password.

Any ideas?
Question by:Iammontoya
    LVL 27

    Expert Comment

    by:Glenn Ray
    I never believe users who say "I never had to enter a password before!" :-)

    One is never immediately prompted to enter a password after a workbook is opened and attempts are made to edit in locked, protected cells.  A message will pop up stating "The cell or chart that you are trying to change is protected and therefore read-only."

    Now, if they click "Unprotect Sheet" and a password has been entered previously, then they'll have to enter the password.  It is quite possible that until recently this sheet had been protected without a password, but then someone - accidentally or on purpose - entered a password and saved the file.  

    You'll either need to find out what the password was from the individual or crack the password yourself.  There are several free utilities available on the Internet that you can use to do this.  As a rule, I do not crack password-protected files here on EE; it is too risky.

    When you do finally get the sheet unlocked, you'll need to re-protect the sheet WITHOUT a password once again, or just forego using one at all.

    Good Luck,
    LVL 19

    Author Comment

    I unlocked the sheet a few days ago... what I was looking for is:

    Is there a way to have a list of users that can access/edit a file?  I wanted to be sure that there ISNT a feature I did not know about. Is there?
    LVL 27

    Assisted Solution

    by:Glenn Ray
    There's no built-in function - besides the password access - that will limit access to an Excel file.  You can do this with VBA, checking the username against a list of defined names (either embedded in the workbook or VBA module), but that's a little more involved.  I used that functionality to define and control user type in some applications (ex., "users" and "superusers").

    LVL 80

    Accepted Solution

    Depending on the version of Excel that you use, there is a provision to permit only certain users to edit certain ranges. In Excel 2013, you access this feature on the Review...Allow Users to Edit Ranges menu item. You will then raise this dialog:
    Allow Users to Edit Ranges dialogIf you click the New... button on that dialog, you will see a dialog that lets you specify the protected range
    New protected range dialogIf you then click the Permissions... button on that dialog, you will see a dialog that lets you specify the permissions
    Permissions for protected range dialogIf you then click the Add... button on that dialog, you can specify users or groups that correspond to that permission:
    Select Users or Groups dialog
    Excel also has a way of restricting access using the Review...Shared Workbook menu item. Shared Workbooks are notorious for (eventually) resulting in file corruption if multiple users edit the workbook simultaneously. Use of the Shared Workbook feature is discouraged by experts in pretty much every Excel help forum in the world for this reason.

    Featured Post

    Maximize Your Threat Intelligence Reporting

    Reporting is one of the most important and least talked about aspects of a world-class threat intelligence program. Here’s how to do it right.

    Join & Write a Comment

    A2 = A1 That kind of cell reference is relative.  If you copy it from A2 to B2, then B2 will get this: B2 = B1 That's all fine and good, but if you then insert a new row above row 2, you'll find: A3 = A1 B3 = B1 This is intentional. …
    Approximate matching with VLOOKUP and MATCH seems to me to be a greatly under-used technique, and one which is vital for getting good performance out of large lookups. Until recently I would always have advised using an exact match for simplicity an…
    This Micro Tutorial will demonstrate on a Mac how to change the sort order for chart legend values and decrpyt the intimidating chart menu.
    This Micro Tutorial will demonstrate how to use a scrolling table in Microsoft Excel using the INDEX function.

    733 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    20 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now